The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Should development assistance be prioritized over military aid in the Sahel region of Africa?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/17/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 809 times Debate No: 46144
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




Resolved-Developmental assistance should be prioritized over military aid in the Sahel region of Africa*
Round 1- Acceptance.

Round 2- Stance.
Round 3- 1st rebuttal.
Round 4- 2nd rebuttal.
Round 5- Conclusion/Summary/Final Focus.


I'll debate
Debate Round No. 1


First I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I hope it is a good one
Now onto my case...

“If there are dreams about a beautiful Africa. There are also roads that lead to their goal.”
It is because I agree with the words put forth by Nelson Mandela that I stand in firm affirmation of today’s resolution

RESOLVED: Developmental assistance should be prioritized over military aid in the sahel region of Africa.

I would like to define the following terms:
Developmental Assistance: Aid given by governments and other agencies to support the economic, environmental, social, and political development of developing countries.

Military aid: aid in the form of troops, drones or any other tools of war in order to help defend a country or provide security.
Sahel region: the eco climatic and bio geographic zone of transition, in Africa, between the Sahara desert to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south.
prioritize: to organize (things) so that the most important thing is done or dealt with first

onto my arguments

Contention 1: The Sahel region is in dire straits

According to secretary- general Ban Ki-Moon, “The Sahel’s need of basic development are immense.”
Subpoint a: malnutrition

Said by IRIN News, there are extremely high levels of malnutrition in the Sahel region,Furthermore, a survey done by them shows that 1.5 million children under the age of five suffer from acute severe malnutrition. UNICEF also estimated that 15 million people are affected from around the Sahel region from a nutrition crisis. Development assistance should be prioritized. It is needed in the Sahel region to alleviate hunger and malnutrition. The nations of the Sahel are having a difficult time providing food their growing population on soil that is no longer adequate to support the farming done to feed their people, which leads to my next point of analysis.

subpoint b: The Sahel region is in need of agricultural teaching and aid.
In the same article by the IRIN, it states that CILSS (Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel) estimated that more than half of the working population in the Sahel depends upon the agricultural section of society and is responsible for more than 40 percent of the region's collective GDP. It later says that in a society that depends on agriculture, the soil quality is critical. Development assistance can help fund research on the Sahel region and how to improve its soil as well as build better irrigation systems and teach the farmers how to take care of and get the most out of their land. This will not only be good for the environment and their future economic status, but it will help farmers support their families, help prevent hunger and famine and reverse desertification.

Contention 2: Development is utilitarianism

According to USAID, there are many sectors and components to development assistance programs. These include providing assistance in agriculture and food security, democracy, human rights, economic growth, trade, education, ending extreme poverty, water and sanitation, global health ,technology, innovation and more. The main values you get out of this Development aid are food security, human rights, good government, environmental protection, quality of life, and peace. These values differ from those of military aid. Compare the goals of these two types of aid side by side and you will find utilitarianism in developmental assistance, the greatest good for the great amount of people. If my opponent wants to have a chance at defending this point he needs to provide me with the list of values of military aid and prove that they are more significant to all the people in the Sahel

“Men and women have the right to live their lives … free from fear of violence, oppression and injustice.—U.N. Millennium Declaration”
It is because I agree with this, that I introduce my next point,
Contention 3: Military aid fails to complete it’s goal and is generally oppressive.

Military aid is put in to help defend a country or provide security but in the past, military aid has failed to complete this goal. It has been given to other countries and it has not worked. Instead the aid has been oppressive by costing civilian lives, infrastructure, violating human rights, and has supported illegal settlements and other discriminatory and violent practices toward populations. An example is in Operation Serval, where even after years of French presence in the Sahel, there has not been a decrease in terrorist attacks or activity. For these reasons and evidence we cannot not prioritize something that has been as counterproductive as military aid. We need to prioritize development assistance because it has been effective and more peaceful and military aid has not. (If you need more examples then ask and I will provide them in the next round)

In conclusion I stand in firm affirmation of the resolution. Showing that military aid is ineffective, the people of the sahel need developmental assistance and that it is utilitarianism. It will be the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. If development assistance is prioritized in Africa, it will create a healthier and more stable Sahel.

NEGs turn! (reminder for this round: just stance, no rebutal yet)



I'd like to thank my opponent for letting me do this round.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
It is because I agree with George Orwell's views of the military that I feel compelled to negate today's resolution.
RESOLVED: Developmental assistance should be prioritized over military aid in the Sahel region of Africa.
The definitions set forth by my opponent will do fine in today's round. I don't feel compelled to provide counter-definitions.
Now onto my arguments:

Contention 1: The military has the means of sorting crises out
Imagine living in a world without a military. Imagine living in a world where your country couldn't provide protection for itself. Hard isn't it? That's because neither of us have had to experience conditions such as the one I previously described. If less developed countries such as those located in the Sahel region look towards development assistance over military protection, then these fragile countries will topple over from a lack of stable infrastructure. A powerful and even oppressive military would be more beneficial to these countries as they would uphold civic duties such as the right to work by enforcing citizens to do their jobs. Development assistance simply doesn't have the means to inspire and provoke people to do their required roles in their communities. An oppressive military (ideally one from a more developed country) would enforce the population to carry out duties through the emotion of fear. Fear is the most potent tool we as humans can control and through it we can accomplish wonders. Once the infrastructure is brought back up the oppressive military can be pulled out by their respective countries.

Contention 2: No developed country has gotten to where it is today without a form of military
Germany. Russia. The United States of America. The one thing all three of these global superpowers have in common is that they were all founded through a military background. According to the World Socialist Web Site, even today Germany's military is taking aggressive strategies in less developed countries as shown by their involvement in crises in Ukraine. Furthermore, both the Bolshevik and American Revolutions were early forms of military aggression against their parent countries. Without these revolutions and military conflicts, these countries wouldn't be in the same place that they are today. If the Sahel region of Africa truly wants to prosper, it needs to increase its involvement in military affairs, simple as that. The superpowers of the earth look towards their armies as signs of prosperity. The Sahel region will one day do the same through their adoption of military aid.

Contention 3: Development assistance is not as productive as military aid
During the period of colonial England, the United Kingdom would enter numerous African territories, extract their precious resources, and leave the country in a wreck. Before they would do this though, they would promise that the benefits would go towards increasing the economies of the countries they took from. Obviously they didn't. This scenario still occurs today, just not on as big a scale. This is a perfect representation of what developmental assistance really is. Between a country with no self-sufficiency and a country with a hardened military, I think the more logical choice would to pick the country with the hardened military.

This debate is interesting because neither of the choices will lead to an incredibly prosperous country, and with the condition that the Sahel region is currently in, it's going to be many years before anything is truly accomplished. In the meantime though, an effective military should provide aid and protection to its citizens and provide quotas that make the citizens of the Sahel region try their absolute best to improve conditions on their own. Oppression is a cycle every country phases through whether they like it or not. Development assistance doesn't harden the country's self-esteem and make them laborious. Essentially, all it does is make the country have to rely on others in order to improve, and that isn't and never will be an effective way to mature.
Debate Round No. 2


First I'll attack points then I'll cover case more

Notice throughout the my opponents whole case he gives examples of how military assistance has "benefited" countries but given no evidence that the Sahel needs this kind of aid that the military is providing.

his first contention: The military has the means of sorting crises out
The crisis in the Sahel right now cannot be fixed by military aid, as I have stated in my first speech, they are in a food crisis, suffering from lack of infrastructure and falling into poverty. Military aid cannot provide them with any of these things. It can not teach them how to produce food more efficiently, it cannot provide knowledge in the medical field to save those dying from sickness, it cannot show them how to build a house for their family. Military aid cannot alone sort the crisis out in the Sahel, and since Development assistance covers the crisis's we need to prioritize that.

"If less developed countries such as those located in the Sahel region look towards development assistance over military protection, then these fragile countries will topple over from a lack of stable infrastructure."
I believe that development assistance we would be giving this country would not only teach them to make new things, but provide them with the knowledge to sustain these things, therefore nothing will "topple over" due to lack of military aid unless otherwise proved.

"A powerful and even oppressive military would be more beneficial to these countries"
My opponent is implying an oppressive military is good. However I believe that if there is a better solution than putting hardships on people that don't deserve it, then we should choose that. Which is developmental assistance. Not only can development assistance provide ways to make the gov. more efficient, but it doesn't have to do so by inflicting fear. DA provides knowledge, and that is what the Sahel needs to work towards getting the gov back on it's feet. We should prioritize DA because not only is it more peaceful but it is not oppressive. DA is more beneficial! Also, it's not like the Sahel doesn't already have a military. They are not completely defenseless against things.

Contention 2 is: No developed country has gotten to where it is today without a form of military
He gave Germany as one of his examples. Quick history lesson: During WW2, Germany has an impressive military, yet this was not the reason they have become a "superpower" (I don't like that word and I could even argue that they aren't a super power, but I won't) After using their military and LOSING after WW2, Germany literally in ruins. The only reason Germany is where it is today, is because of the fact that the US helped them after the war. The US sent DEVELOPMENT aid to help Germany sustain their government and recover from economic crises. They didn't send military aid. For all we know, if the US didn't help develop Germany after WW2, they wouldn't be where they are today. So NO, military is not the reason German is where it is. It's Development assistance.
So not only can we draw from this that not ALL developed countries have used military aid to get where they are today. We also have another example of how development assistance really works and allows a country to prosper. Another example we get from this is that military aid is not always the best solution. A country doesn't need a bunch of military aid, development assistance is better. We need to prioritize it.

His contention 3: Development assistance is not as productive as military aid

We can just look at my second and third contention to prove that this is not true.

In my second contention I list all of the things that development assistance provides and that it gives more services than military aid. This proves that DA is more productive in covering a number things that the Sahel needs.
A direct example of DA completing it's goal would be
the Syngenta Foundation. This org. has partnered with the governments of many Sahel countries, to introduce numerous seed varieties and technologies for semi-arid areas. They've also set up cooperatives and greatly improved the access of these countries to markets. Farmers in this area are seeing increasing opportunities to become viable commercial partners. This would help stop desertification because farmers would actually be able to become large-scale farmers, rather than just continuing to be subsistence planters. The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture is supporting rice intensification projects in Senegal, Mali, and Burkina Faso, which has made the rice supply chain more efficient and reliable, greatly increased yields, and most importantly will help establish food security in this region. Development assistance is productive!

In my third contention I state that military aid is generally oppressive and fails to achieve it's goals. This just shows in itself that military aid is not productive!
A perfect example of military aid not being productive is from Operation Serval, where the French military went in to provide "protection" yet it is said
“Terrorism is still there after Operation Serval, whose military objective was not achieved," -Hamma Agh Mahmoud, a Malian minister and former adviser to the president's office. Not only is this a reliable source but it's proof from directly inside the Sahel, that military aid has not been productive.
Development assistance is more productive than military aid.
I also don't agree with my opponents final statement being "All development assistance does is make the country have to rely on others in order to improve."
He is basically implying that by aiding a developing country with this kind of assistance, it will allow them to become dependent. But we will not just be giving them food so they keep asking for more. We are giving them knowledge.
For example development assistance teaches farmers how to get the best of their soil so they can produce more food. Not only will this knowledge stay with them, but they don't have to keep asking us for food. They are now able to make their own without our help. So what we are seeing is DA actually helps out and then allows the country to have more independence. It doesn't produce dependence.

Refutation conclusions:
-Military aid doesn't have the means to sort the crisis out in the Sahel, because military aid cannot provide the proper tools the Sahel needs to recover from the crisis it is facing (malnutrition, poverty), development aid can solve these things. DA has the means to sort the crisis out!
- Developed country can get where they are today without military aid. Germany for example was actually given development assistance by the US to get where it is today.
- Development assistance is more productive because it covers a variety of things the Sahel needs help with, and it has worked in the past.
-military aid has not worked in the past directly in the Sahel, therefore it is not productive

Onto my case!

In my first contention I went over how the Sahel is in a malnutrition crisis and is in need of agriculture teaching.
A reason to prioritize this and provide DA is because
Cereal Harvests are expected to decline. According to VOA news December 2013, food aid is necessary because cereal harvests are expected to decline across the Sahel. Cereal production is likely to be significantly lower this year. Crop production is expected to fall between 11 and 18 percent from last year. The European Commission says this will cause millions to face food insecurities because the recurring crisis has already eroded the poor who struggle to cover basic food needs. So not only are people already dying from malnutrition, if we don’t get the situation under control soon, there will be an ever greater number of deaths each year. DA needs to be prioritized as soon as possible or more of the Sahel population will die each year.

Onto my second contention
I talked about how DA is Utilitarianism, this is true because it covers a variety of things that the Sahel currently needs.
As I stated "My opponent needs to provide me with the list of values of military aid and prove that they are more significant to all the people in the Sahel" and he has not provided me with the list of values military aid gives, so we can conclude that Development aid is still utilitarianism.

My third contention was that military aid is generally oppressive and fails to complete it's goals.
As stated before, there has been an instance where military aid has been sent into the Sahel and failed to complete it's goal.
“The explosion of a car bomb on 28 September, in front of Malian military barracks in Timbuktu, served as a reminder that terrorism is still present in Mali.”
An example of when military aid has been oppressive can be found all over the world.
A headline reads, "Billions in military aid failed to bring peace to Israel-Palestine." In this article it shows summaries of their talks
with Israelis who speak about the deepening militarization of Israeli culture and who can testify to the destructive effects of current military aid, we hear strong voices illustrating why further military aid is counterproductive to finding a durable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They are also calling for more development assistance.
This proves that military aid is oppressive and fails.

In conclusion, I have given evidence on my contentions and showed that the Sahel needs development assistance as soon as possible because things are just expected to get worse. Vote AFF.



tennistanner forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


darn I really liked debating this resolution!
Oh well vote AFF


Crap... Sorry about the forfeit. I got busy. Yeah just vote Aff, theirs was really good haha
Debate Round No. 4


thanks dude!


tennistanner forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by tennistanner 2 years ago
Because the last thing I want to do is grind your gears. It sounds painful...
Posted by tennistanner 2 years ago
Could you elaborate?
Posted by AizenSousuke 2 years ago
You know what grinds my gears?
When people toss around words like "Global Superpower" without understanding what it really means.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Zendayalover156 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO had more convincing arguments